New cars 2013
1The standard Range Rover won our award for being the best luxury car, but since the Range Rover Sport offers almost everything that the standard model does at a lower price, it’s our pick as one of the best new cars 2013. It’s not exactly cheap, but if you are after a brand new luxury car the Range Rover Sport is something you should look into. It’s lighter than the old model, which means it’s better to drive than ever, and the ride is as comfortable as ever – if ever so slightly worse than the standard Range Rover.
Key pointsPrice: £51,550 - £81,550
2An update at the beginning of 2013 saw a new front end and an improved interior for the Mercedes E-Class, cementing it as one of the best executive cars on the market. It’s quiet and comfortable to drive, and the interior is very luxurious, with loads of equipment and neat gadgets. The engines available are generally fast and frugal, although the most powerful models are expensive to run. It’s not as good to drive as the BMW 5 Series, but it has a bit more style to it if that’s a factor for you when it comes to buying a car.
Key pointsPrice: £32,750 - £42,375
3The Skoda Octavia is a practical and good value car, and the vRS model adds the option of a high-performance model to the range. It’s fast and fun to drive, while also offering a bigger boot than the VW Golf GTI. The diesel version with a 2.0-litre TDI gets 61.4mpg too, so it’s not bad on fuel either. It doesn’t have the desirability of a VW Golf GTI or SEAT Leon Cupra, but if you’re after a fast and fun car that’s practical and good value the Octavia vRS could well be it.
Key pointsPrice: £22,990 - £24,650
4The new Mazda3 is a practical family car that rivals the VW Golf and Ford Focus - but its most striking new feature is the stylish design. It's a great-looking car that's good fun to drive and has a great range of engines to choose from, and it's sure to be really reliable, too. The basic engine is quite slow and not really up to the task, but overall the new Mazda3 is a great car to drive and the diesel engine is more than fast enough.
Key pointsPrice: £16,695 - £23,345
5Ki’a first fast hatchback is the Pro_cee’d GT, a sporty and spacious little car with a lot of positives. It’s great value for money compared to its rivals like the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and although it’s not as fast it is well equipped, comfortable and really practical too. It has its bad points – poor fuel economy and a lack of badge appeal – but they are made up for by the great reliability of the Korean brand and the stylish looks. It’s available with three doors for now, but a more practical five-door version will be available at the start of 2014.
6The Lexus IS competes with other small executive cars like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, but instead of using a diesel engine for economy it uses a hybrid petrol and electric one. That means it’s got the lowest emissions in its class, meaning free road tax and economy up to 68.9mpg. The new IS has good standard equipment, and should be extremely reliable, so it’s looking better than ever as a proper rival to the executive saloons from the German manufacturers. It’s very comfortable too, although not as good to drive as the BMW.
Key pointsPrice: £26,495 - £38,495
7The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross replaces the old SX4 in the company’s range, competing with crossover SUVs like the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti. It will be appeaing to company car buyers, as the SZT spec offers loads of standard equipment and the running costs are low, but equally it should be worth a look for those looking for a good value and practical family car. It’s a bit noisy and the reliability is uncertain, but Suzuki’s latest crossover is a credible alternative to the Skoda and Nissan rivals.
Key pointsPrice: £14,999 - £23,549
8The new Peugeot 308 hatchback is much lighter than the previous model, which means it gets better economy, better handling and better performance. It gets a bigger boot too, so practicality isn't compromised, and driving the new 308 is undoubtedly more comfortable than ever, especially in town. It's not much fun to drive compared to some of its rivals, though, and the interior isn't quite up to standard, but overall the new Peugeot 308 is a practical and comfortable family hatchback that is better than ever.
Key pointsPrice: £14,495 - £24,045
9Rivaling the Skoda Octavia estate and the Ford Focus estate, the Toyota Auris Touring Sports offers a hybrid alternative with loads of appeal for company car buyers. The ride is comfortable and there’s lots of luggage space, but the main reason would be the efficient engine putting the car into the lowest company car tax bracket. It’s free from road tax too, and fuel economy is over 70mpg. It’s good value for money, with plenty of equipment, but the rear seats are a bit cramped and it’s not much fun to drive, especially compared to the Ford.
Key pointsPrice: £15,795 - £23,245
10The Peugeot 2008 SUV is based on the smaller 208 supermini, and although it’s not very fun to drive and feels a bit slow, it is comfortable and very practical. Running costs are good too, with the most economical engine getting 74.3mpg. It’s only £800 more than the 208 too, so it’s great value for the extra space and comfort you get from it being a larger SUV. The boot is 360 litres, which is much bigger than a Nissan Juke, so for families with lots of luggage the 2008 is a worthwhile choice.
Key pointsPrice: £12,995 - £19,345